Michigan House Approves Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions, Granholm Will Veto
by Steven Ertelt
May 28, 2008
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — The Michigan House approved a ban on partial-birth abortions Tuesday night after state Democrats were accused of stalling the vote. Though the legislature is now likely to approve a final version of the bill, it appears Governor Jennifer Granholm will veto it.
The ban previously received approval from the Michigan Senate on a bipartisan 24 to 13 vote.
But when it got to the House, Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon assigned it to the House Judiciary Committee, where its chairman, Rep. Paul Condino, indicated he would block a vote on it.
Pro-life groups and lawmakers called on the House to approve a discharge petition allowing the partial-birth abortion ban to come up for a vote.
Dillon allowed a vote on the bill Tuesday and the House approved it 72-34, but did not approve a companion measure setting the penalties for violating the law.
Michigan Catholic Conference vice president for public policy Paul Long told LifeNews.com he appreciated the turnaround.
"Speaker Dillon and the pro-life majority in the House that voted for this legislation, Democrats and Republicans, deserve praise for outlawing a procedure that exemplifies just how far-reaching and out-of-touch the abortion issue has become," he said.
"Today’s vote is a victory for those who have spent several years working to uplift the dignity of women and the human rights of the unborn by ending the atrocity known as partial-birth abortion," he added.
Now the ban heads to the Senate for a concurrence vote and then it will go to pro-abortion Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who has previously vetoed a partial-birth abortion ban.
In October 2003, Governor Granholm vetoed Senate Bill 395, the "Legal Birth Definition Act," which sought to outlaw partial-birth abortion by granting full legal status to the child as soon as any part of his or her body emerges from the mother.
She appears likely to veto the revised ban claiming it doesn’t have a health exception, even though the three-day-long abortion procedure is never needed to protect a woman’s health.
Although Congress approved, and the Supreme Court upheld, a national partial-birth abortion ban, state legislatures are looking to approve bans on the state level to allow state and local officials to assist in enforcing it.
The new Michigan partial-birth abortion ban calls the procedure "gruesome and inhumane" and says its "disturbing similarity to the killing of a newborn infant promotes a complete disregard for infant human life that can only be countered by a prohibition."
The House vote comes days after the Michigan Department of Community Health released new statistics showing the number of abortions dropped in 2007.
The number of abortions in Michigan is now at its lowest level since 1979, when the state health department first began tracking figures.